Indian tradition and culture showcased at the fair through various activities.
India Pavilion won the 2nd place for the Best Stand in the Asia, Australia and Oceania category at the ITB held in Berlin, Germany during 4th to 8th March, 2015. The ITB Berlin (InternationaleTourismus-Börse Berlin) is the world’s largest tourism trade fair.
India showcased its rich cultural heritage at the fair. Brand India was projected to the whole world through marketing of the brand “Incredible India” with the help of outdoor media by branding buses and outdoor backlit billboards. Evoking the Buddhist heritage of India, the pavilion was built with the Sanchi Stupa in the middle and trade partners all around. It symbolized Indian civilization that is built around the values that the Stupa stood for.
Various activities that were performed at the Indian Pavilion caught the glimpse and participation of the visitors all around the world. The Yoga workshops were held every two hours where many people interested in the practice of Yoga participated and learnt this art of Yoga. Indian culture and tradition was depicted through various other activities and the audience were involved by organizing competitions like sari draping, palm reading contest and Bollywood dance contests. H.E Vijay Gokhale, India’s Ambassador to Germany also attended the event and gave away the prizes to the winners.
Besides cultural activities, a press conference was also organized at the fair so that the participants can know Indian culture and interact with representatives of our country. Over 100 participants attended the press conference and interacted with the officials. The Ministers of Tourism of states of Orissa and Uttar Pradesh, Chief Secretary (Uttar Pradesh), Additional Chief Secretary (Tamil Nadu) and Dy. Head of Mission and representatives from the states were present at the press conference. The Tour Operators’ Breakfast meeting was also organized where over 80 tour operators mostly based out of Germany attended the meeting. Many important issues were raised at the press conference and Tour Operators meeting. These issues included safety and security of women tourists, fears of introducing a biometric recording in the country of origin for visa applicants and lack of a strong campaign in overseas markets.
All these concerns were well received at the India Forum. The Indian government clarified to the Secretary General of the UNWTO that Indian Government has zero tolerance for any threat to the safety of tourists and all efforts are being made to provide a safer environment to the tourists. It was also discussed that women travel writers from Europe should visit India and write about the potential of India from a woman’s perspective. A positive response was received from the writers and journalists including prominent ones such as Ms.Anja Beckmann of Travel on Toast, Alexa Meyer of Deutsche Welle, Angela Niewald, Chief Editor of FreizeitWoche etc. The importance of social media was also highlighted to create a significant impact in this regard.